The Power of A Chair and The Woman in It


Let me tell you about a chair filled with love.

Inside a little grey house with bright pink numbers, rests an old floral chair with a jacket draped across the back, at the ready. There is a landline phone next to it, the chair perfectly positioned to hear commotion from the kitchen. The chair is older than I, solidly built to withstand years of kids, adults and life lived. 

In this chair, sat a little old lady, with grey hair and a wicked grin. Stubborn and fiercely protective of her family, she sat and watched her entire world grow up. Her daughter became a wife, then mother. Friends became quick family; back doors became front doors. Her grandchildren grew up, got married, started their lives; she met her great-grandson while sitting in the chair. Christmases and birthdays revolved around the comfy cushions with presents piled at her feet. Every piece of goodness and all the not-so-good happened in the living room where that chair sits. It’s where my husband met my Granny for the first time, where I told her all my life updates, and where she told us that she had breast cancer a decade ago. 

My Granny's Chair, a place of laugher
The chair where my Granny sat for all of life’s moments.

My Granny’s chair is now empty. The woman who sat in it left us in August and finishing up the holiday season, the emptiness is poignant. Death is part of life; we all have an understanding that one day, things change. Nothing prepares you for the stark contrast between what was and what now is. I knew that someday the chair wouldn’t hold a significant piece of my heart but to see it come to be? It stops me in my tracks. I just find myself staring at it, wishing for one more laugh or shake of her head. One more Thanksgiving, one more Christmas, one more of everything. Instead, I find myself missing the small bundle of life wrapped in fierceness. 

The woman who read her Bible every day. The one who taught me to make cinnamon rolls from pie crust scraps;  a lover of crosswords and good snacks who never backed down from what she thought was right. She taught me how to make sure everyone felt loved and seen; I feed people as a show of love because that’s what she did-you never went hungry around her. Even if it was just a banana or a few cookies, she’d make sure you had food and then would have you join her as she asked you questions about your life. As you answered, she would sit there, in her beloved chair, and watch as you told her about the world through your eyes. 

That’s the power of a chair and those that sit in them. Unassuming and unrealized until the moment passes, life slows down just a little and things aren’t so mundane. Even though her chair is empty, she remains in spirit; I see her in the way sunlight flows through the trees, in the butterflies that always seem to come when I miss her most.